Many of you know I have four kids, and they are REALLY close in age. Like 4 kids all within 2.5 years kind of close in age. (That’s what happens when you get pregnant with twins six weeks after having your second baby). But everything happens for a reason. I have my 2 beautiful, healthy twin girls and my 2 handsome, healthy boys (really young men). All raised lovingly the same, making sure they knew there are no favorites here. My question is: how on Earth can four kids be so vastly different!? Granted they have similarities for sure. They are all kind, caring, empathetic kids who hold doors for people, are outgoing and social, and love their family and friends. But truth be told, it’s like I’m raising the Breakfast Club, 2019 version. A rebel, a princess, a brain and a jock. If you’re wondering who the basket case is….well, that’s me.
It’s funny to watch them grow. It’s also scary as can be. I touched on this the other day. All the worries…especially with the rebel. While he too, is a jock (and maybe more so than the other child), he is also a rebel, and that part scares me. He is absolutely my most sensitive child in the respect that he cares deeply when people are ill or injured. He takes it upon himself to call my mom EVERY night to check in on her since her recent knee surgery. When my 100 year old grandfather died, he was destroyed for months. But you’d never know this just by looking at him. He is confident and strong and very outgoing. He gets in trouble because he is SO loud and goofy and just the kind of kid everyone sees when he walks in a room- there is no hiding anything. Teachers either love him or are frustrated by him. I have had a few emails about him….”he was walking around during class”, “standing up on the bus to tell jokes”, “being distracting in class”… We have conversations all the time. I’m a VERY involved parent and I am on him constantly to behave. Thankfully, he’s never rude and recently when his sister was pushed by a boy in the school, he stepped in and said, “you cannot put your hands on a girl”. He knows right from wrong and is a caring kid; I’m just hoping with maturity, comes the ability to calm down a bit. He’s exactly like his father when he was a kid. My in-laws light candles for me at church, which is unnerving as I guess I’m in for quite a ride. But they survived and we will too.
And it’s not all bad. I have had countless messages from his friends parents about how polite he is and he’s welcome there anytime…also positive notes from teachers. My friends and I joke he’s the modern day Eddie Haskell (Leave it to Beaver…aah, I’m old). His 5th grade teacher called him “The Mayor” in our conferences and one of his sixth grade teachers wrote me and said, “I’m sure he’s going to be a President of something fantastic when he’s older.” Funny because he thinks so too….
Then there is “the brain”. The brain has her course set. She knows (or thinks she knows) what she wants in life already. She studies and turns in assignments on time, and never does the bare minimum. She signs up for every club there is, so she can add it to her college resume. I gently remind her that normally sixth grade isn’t added to a college resume, but she doesn’t care. I love her passion and determination to do her best. She is very social and can handle the two beautifully. That’s not to say it all doesn’t come with a price. We recently found out she has moderate anxiety due to the pressure she puts on herself and just all that is happening out in the world today. It’s a scary place, so I understand. Thankfully she has gotten some exercises to help calm her nerves, and all seems to be better now.
The princess. She turns in her assignments on time, is a rule follower, enjoys school (probably more for the social aspect), but definitely would rather watch videos of James Charles applying makeup than studying for her tests. She gives a decent effort as she wants to do well, but it’s a balancing act with her. She is my little sidekick, and such a helper. She’s going to be a great mom in the future and I’ve joked with her that one day, all this fancy, expensive stuff she has and wants, will be replaced with cheaper alternatives because she will have a kid just like her, who sucks the money from her bank account like a brand new Dyson vacuum…and I know from experience. 😉
The jock just wants to play soccer and goof around having fun with his buddies. He knows high school is a hop, skip and a jump away, and also knows what needs to be done…but isn’t motivated at the moment to do it. He works hard at the last minute and makes the honor roll every marking period. He does this because he knows it’s what he needs to keep his phone. For this, I’m grateful for technology, but it’s not going to always work for him. And now is the time to get it all together.
I want you all to realize I’m only stereotyping my kids for the purpose of this blog…to show how the movie presents five kids from five different walks of life yet how different my kids are coming from the same parenting approach. However in writing this, it also made me realize that maybe that’s the problem. Perhaps I need to find a different way to fuel each childs’ passion and by parenting them the same way, I’m not doing that. They are four bright, wonderful individuals. I’m having a light bulb moment.
Ok, so our “Breakfast Club” heads to Lancaster next weekend for our Unplugged Weekend (stay tuned to see how that goes). While I’m there I’m going to take some time to plan “one on one time” with each child…not a typical date to the movies, but rather something we can do together that has an educational twist…something in which there will be time to talk about a new plan of action for our day to day life. A customized, tailored and dare I say, themed plan for each child.
Have you done something like this? Any recommendations?
Stay tuned!! Will let you know what we come up with!